Always remember that your brand is built on the quality of the products and services you sell. Your prices must support your brand image.
If you wish to possess a brand image like Apple or Abercrombie & Fitch then your products/services & brand philosophy need to reflect that. It may require sourcing high-end items and pricing said items in such a way as to project a “top-end”, “elitist” and “luxury” image.
Likewise, if you wish to possess a more middle ground and “common man” brand image like Canadian Tire or Askews Grocers then you may need to make the products/services more accessible.
Now then the image above: $8.99 Wedding Ring sets? Anyone care to wager a guess on this high quality establishment?
If you guessed Walmart, you win the prize!
One The One Side Of The Spectrum.
Disclaimer: I shop at Walmart on occasion for certain items, so the next few sentences should be taken with a grain of salt.
Walmart has to some, become the corporate personification of Red-Neck-America or ‘Murica if you prefer. Cheap, mass produced goods for the lazy jogging pants clad being in all of us. Some websites even sport a “People of Walmart” section that features images of some of the “classiest” individuals found in their stores.
Of course we know that there is more to Walmart then this and not everyone who shops there allows their rear end to hang out of their pants, yet this is a very real part of the image they have garnered.
They have developed a brand image (right or wrong) for delivering goods at one of the cheapest prices available. That is their image and along with it comes the “People of Walmart” image. Where cheap goods are, cheap people go (and yes I am included in that crowd also, although I do not own a pair of jogging pants).
And On The Other Side Of The Spectrum.
Pricing determines a significant portion of your brand image. Are the products at Abercrombie & Fitch truly worth what they are priced at? No. Not at all. The huge markup on those products helps to pay for their expensive models, marketing and advertising, but more than anything, it helps keep their brand image as “Elite”. If not everyone can afford their products, then those who can, are given the opportunity to boast. That is the A&F brand image and their prices support that.
Remember when Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries made the statement that he would rather see his burnt then on the backs of less than attractive people? The interview went viral several years after it actually happened and ignited a firestorm on social media.
Other statements by A&F CEO and his managers include:
- “Abercrombie and Fitch doesn’t want to create the image that just anybody, poor people, can wear their clothing. Only people of a certain stature are able to purchase and wear the company name.” – Unnamed District Manager
- “I don’t want our core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing our clothing.” – CEO Mike Jefferies
- “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong” – CEO Mike Jefferies
While completely arrogant (and a massive faux pas in our estimate) these statements indicate quite clearly what A&F’s brand image is. Elite. They made that obvious and their prices support it.
Pricing & Your Brand.
What do your prices say about your brand image? Do they support what you are trying to build? Why or why not? How do you change that?
Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.